Showcasing the pre-eminent art collection in Western Australia

Arts and wellness in regional WA

11 Oct 2013

Our Wellbeing is a project of Ruah Mental Health Programs that has received funding from the Department of Culture and the Arts, Lotterywest and Healthway. The project is touring regional agricultural shows and field days to offer interactive arts activities for adults and children.

Department of Culture and the Arts Acting Director General Alan Ferris said the project’s aims were twofold.

“Information gathered by the project team during the tour will provide valuable insight into the levels of wellbeing in regional areas,” he said.

“It will also identify ways to assist communities in maintaining good levels of wellbeing and to support the recovery process for people experiencing mental health problems.”

Mr Ferris said projects such as Our Wellbeing stood to play an important role in regional WA.

“Despite an overall decrease in the suicide rate in Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics still identifies suicide as the leading cause of death for men under 44 years and women under 34 years across the nation,” he said.

“This project aims to do its part in helping to reduce the stigma of mental illness while increasing community understanding of the benefits of engaging in arts and recreational activities.”

The Our Wellbeing project promotes Healthway’s Act Belong Commit message and so far the interactive arts activities at the Dowerin Field Day, the Newdegate Field Day and the Northam Agricultural Show have proven to be a great success. More than 200 families visited the displays, allowing children to pick up a paint brush and collect a free show bag.

The project team will be at the Narrogin Agricultural Show on 19 October and the Katanning Agricultural show on 26 October 2013.

For more information on Our Wellbeing, go to the project webpage at: www.ourwellbeingwa.com.au or Twitter #OurWellbeing and the project blog on Facebook at facebook.com/our-wellbeing.

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